While the 3-11 NY Jets are only playing for pride and draft positioning over the final three weeks of the season, every single game played is crucial for the team’s decision-makers as we head into the offseason.
Every game played represents video proof (or lack thereof) of a potential roster-building decision general manager Joe Douglas will make this offseason.
Throughout the course of “roster-building season,” when working through different decisions that need to be made, the final weeks of the season often provide a springboard for those decisions.
Some older players that are impending free agents often show decline and unfortunately cost themselves millions of dollars as every team’s Pro Scouting department watches their decline take place on film.
Some young players show reason for optimism to make decision-makers believe they will be a focal point of the roster moving forward, thus potentially eliminating another hole to fill in the offseason.
Take the decisions the Jets will have to make regarding their offensive line for example. Building and maintaining a stable line is especially crucial for the Jets because of where they currently stand as a franchise.
Having just made a large investment in quarterback Zach Wilson, it’s essential they succeed in putting him in a good position to be successful; and a massive part of that is the offensive line. Every year in the NFL we see examples of teams who have failed to do this with young QB’s, and it never ends well.
Look no further than the crosstown Giants — their offensive line struggles for years have muddied the water regarding many different decisions they have had and will have to make, both with Daniel Jones and other parts of the roster.
For the Jets, as they look toward 2022, it’s easy to feel good about at least two of the five spots on the offensive line. At left tackle, Mekhi Becton, despite his health issues, has put enough on film for the Jets to feel good about his production and prospects moving forward.
Alijah Vera-Tucker is a rookie who’s shown a lot of potential in year one, and having him on the left side of the line next to Becton provides the Jets a solid foundation on Wilson’s blindside moving forward.